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What it's like to spend 40-50 hours in VR every week (immersed.team)
1040 points by eflowers 23 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 448 comments



This is such a great post, and really covers the spiritual aspects of what it's like to work for prolonged periods in VR. Glad to see Immersed getting traction, and taking VR forward. We all benefit from this.

For Linux enthusiasts (possibly the OP as as well): SimulaVR (www.simulavr.com) is working on a portable Linux VR headset with office/programmer productivity as the #1 goal. It will offer the following advantages over the OP's Immersed setup:

1. *More than double the text quality.* We are making a headset with more than double the PPD (pixels-per-degree) of the Oculus Quest 2. This is extremely important for facilitating multi-hour VR sessions without eye fatigue.

2. *Proper window management.* SimulaVR is a fully functional Linux window manager (built over Wayland/wlroots infrastructure). Unlike Immersed, it isn't just emulating screens on another host OS. This means you get an unlimited number of windows, popups can (when desired) behave as new windows, etc. No hacks are required to get this sort of functionality. It will also later on facilitate proper 3D/VR applications being able to share the same space with 2D applications.

3. *Proper portability.* Our headset is going to be fully portable (with a detachable compute pack in the back), and won't require you to tether your headset to another computer over WiFi, or take along an additional laptop just to get your VR computer working somewhere else.

4. *Proper hackability.* Simula is built over FOSS, and is not tethered to the Facebook platform. If there's something you want to change or tweak, you're free to do so.

One thing Immersed has though is immediate availability and scalability (there are an unlimited supply of Oculus Quests floating around :). We're likely going to be constrained on the number of headsets we can produce, at least initially, and will have to queue first to the early users.

We (and the industry at large) also have a lot of work ahead of us to improve upon a VR-centric UX (incorporating proper tiling management, and other things). Very exciting.


OP here! I've been keeping a very close eye on the SimulaVR project for a while. I agree with most of what you've got here, and would love to be able to try it out in the future.

One question I've got about the window management system - I make heavy use of virtual desktops so I can swap several windows out simultaneously (all my source code on one screen, my database GUIs on another, etc.). I'd run out of room using a spatially tiled VR interface unless I had "sets" or other groups of windows (or different vantage points); how is that being approached? Is there a "virtual desktop" equivalent?

Any chance of coopting other hardware as part of your development/deployment strategy? (Vive Focus 3, maybe?)

I'll definitely continue to watch the project - please let me know if I can ever be of service in the endeavor. You guys are building an awesome future.


Hi ptom.

1. Simula is planning on adding a window tiling/window grouping dynamic to its UX. Agreed this is a useful feature, and we've heard from other people as well that this would improve things.

A short-term hack though, since Simula is a fully functioning window manager, is to simply launch another window manager inside Simula as a client (e.g., launching i3 or xfce4 inside Simula, and using it as a way to group applications together).

2. We've been unable to get Linux support from other VR manufacturers in order to run Simula on other hardware. In fact, our initial goal was to only do this (so that we could focus on the software only), but eventually decided it was better to just build our own headset (in particular a high-fidelity one that is uniquely suited for office/programmer productivity).

Would love to stay in contact. Your office VR setup really captures the spirit of the VR age.


The current build of SimulaVR[1] does support workspaces, accessed via Super+number keyboard shortcuts. I use them like a higher-level alt+tab, to switch between a set of text editor windows (super+1) and a set of browser and terminal windows displaying test output (super+2).

[1] https://github.com/SimulaVR/Simula/tree/dev#usage


What is more less the price range you expect for your headset?


Gargoyles from Snow Crash are now becoming a reality.


Smartphones have already made aspects of being a gargoyle common to society, outside of the AR bits.


True. But AR/VR are the most fun bits.


Wow, I noticed that it even has Tobii Eye Tracking. That's extremely exciting imo. It would allow me to code fully hands-free with something like Serenade/Talon, and just use the eye tracking to move the mouse.

Can the headset be connected to a Windows PC? I'm running very heavy stuff when developing, and need all of the the horsepower available. On top of that I also need access to certain software that don't exist on Linux.


Our goal is to make it tetherable to other [Windows] PC's for gaming, etc. Though getting Windows to host SimulaOS isn't yet supported. Your use case has been flagged though. This might be something we need to do down the line.


I have been eyeing the xr3 headset, it has a really good pixel density and arrangement, to the point it's unreal, but it's really expensive.

But if you have enough money to burn, you can taste the future now.


Simula looks like how ptoper open VR should be. If (and/or when) they can pull it of is still a question though.


What is your webXR support going to be? I think for business applications, webXR is going to be the communication medium of choice.

Nothing beats HTML for expressiveness and transmit-ability, and with frameworks like A-Frame you already have an enormous amount of software written for your headset.

Between you guys and Frame.work, it feels like hardware might get inspiring again. Good luck!


solving vergence-accommodation conflict could also be important for long term use fatigue, which no current or near future headset even attempts to solve.


Is there even a prototype?


Question: what happens when you open a webpage that shows 3D content?


Would be great if there is support between navigation of 3D content and VR headset.

If no support between them, there will be a virtual window embedding e.g https://threejs.org/examples/#webgl_decals , which is weird


ideally it would render stereoscopically but I imagine since most 3D applications control the camera themselves this will be difficult to make work across all things. 3D using css may work since it is up to the browser how it gets rendered.


What IPD range are you looking at?


The most critical thing in this piece:

Get a better head-strap! He mentions it in passing in the article, but 90% of the strain from wearing the Quest 2 for extended periods of time can be traced to the garbage default head-strap. You want something that properly balances the headset. If you want, you can even get one that gives you a bit of extra charge, too. There are plenty of options.

Something critical that doesn't seem to be mentioned:

You can manually alter the resolution of Quest apps; if an app is looking blurry it's almost always because it's set to a lower resolution than native. This is a problem with a lot of "productivity" VR apps, and the main reason why I ended up working on my own for a few months.

The standard 90hz is comfortable for me for prolonged periods of time, but if you feel nauseous, you can turn it up to 120hz, though some applications will require manual adjustment.

The Quest 2 is really cheap and offers a lot of different ways to do work; you can pretty much throw it in a bag with a USB-C mouse and keyboard (and splitter, so you could technically also bring along a USB-A mouse and keyboard just fine if you bought a 2A-to-C splitter) or a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo and you've got a full computing environment anywhere, assuming you set it up beforehand. And if you bring around a laptop or other small form-factor PC while traveling, it works really well to augment those, too.

Literal years ago Palmer Luckey talked about using a Go, a significantly less powerful headset, as a replacement for any monitor setups while traveling with his computer. We're finally at a point where you can do the same on any operating system, and it's honestly a really good experience.


> Get a better head-strap! He mentions it in passing in the article, but 90% of the strain from wearing the Quest 2 for extended periods of time can be traced to the garbage default head-strap. You want something that properly balances the headset.

I'm very curious why I seem to have heard this exact same advice for every single headset on the market. Why does it seem endemic that headsets ship uncomfortable, fixed within days by amateurs with Velcro and tape? Why haven't manufacturers noticed that they are partly responsible for one of the major blocks to wide spread adoption?


It’s all in the box! The standard strap is very foldable and cuts the total size down a lot. Extended wear straps make the kit much larger. I have a Quest 2, with a fancy strap and a standard carry case and they don’t really work together. The simple strap is also easier to adjust.


The Quest 2 was heavily optimized for reduced cost since otherwise, VR is a very expensive hobby to get into. Before the Quest, you had to buy a $600 headset AND a $1500+ gaming PC if you didn't already have one if you wanted to get into VR.

As it is, I imagine at $300, Facebook is likely losing money on the sale of each headset.

High-end headsets like the Valve Index come with a very good strap. There's no need to mod it or get an aftermarket one because the stock one is already very comfortable and balances the weight on your head very well. But the full kit is $1,000 and requires a gaming PC.


Unfortunately, Immersed doesn't appear to run on the Index. I had a lot of funds in my steam wallet and purchased one and am about to go pickup the Oculus in a bit. Will be fun to compare and contrast the 2 ecosystems


For most people the stock strap is good enough. I spend a lot of time in VR and never even considered replacing the strap.


Better headstraps are bigger, bulkier, and more expensive. In a market that competes on price, it's most efficient to have the basic version in the box and then charge for upgrades.

Plus, this also allows you to grow your market share by not excluding people that can't quite afford the better version of the headset.


They make money from selling the better head strap, the Quest 2 elite strap is $50 extra.


I think the Vive Focus 3 has learned this lesson, and ships with what looks to be a very serviceable strap.


> The Quest 2 is really cheap

But it requires a FB account right? Or is there a way to use it without one?


Yep, according to the FAQ [1]:

> Quest 2 requires everyone to use a Facebook account to log in.

> If you are an existing Oculus user and have an Oculus account, you will have the option to log in with your Oculus account and merge your Facebook and Oculus accounts.

I can't speak how enforced these are, but even if it's a soft requirement for now, it's enough for me to avoid it. Pity, since it seems pretty good tech wise.

[1] https://support.oculus.com/fb/


> I can't speak how enforced these are, but even if it's a soft requirement for now, it's enough for me to avoid it. Pity, since it seems pretty good tech wise.

Strictly enforced. I borrowed an older oculus headset from a friend to try out a while ago. It wouldn't let me use it without providing Facebook my personal details. I tried making a new anonymous facebook account, which was immediately locked out before I could provide government issued identification. I borrowed my friends' oculus account to briefly give it a go, but quickly returned the hardware because I was just too creeped out by the Facebook association.

It really is a shame that the companies with the biggest R&D budgets are also the ones which are the least aligned with the interests of the user.


This is either a lie or a heavy misconception; my Quest 2 (the first Oculus headset to "require" a Facebook account; none of the others do), didn't require a Facebook account, and works even with Oculus accounts made within the month.


I have an Oculus Go that I logged into last week that I hadn't used in months. There were a lot of dark patterns trying to get me to use a facebook login but I finally figured out how to use my original Oculus account.

Falling for shitty dark patterns doesn't earn being called a liar; take the victim blaming somewhere else.


Carmack just announced that they will unlock the bootloader of the go to allow root access and give the owners full control.

As for the Quest, you can buy a Facebook free version for about twice the price of the standard one


It's supposedly 500 dollars more and that's excluding the fact that they will bill that in euros if you live in the EU. That makes it almost three times as expensive.


I said a lie or misconception, and I was right.


Yep, that rules that out. It is a competitive space, I'll wait.


>I'll wait.

Same here. Such a shame that this toxic company is stifling VR adoption by wrapping their tentacles around such a prime product.


Deal breaker sadly. I will pay 3x for a hackable/free setup


It requires an Oculus account. There are ways to get a new one even now that don't require you to make a Facebook account. If you check the subreddit you'll probably be able to figure it out in about ten minutes. I make a habit of not mentioning exactly how to do it here because I don't trust employees of companies on HN to avoid fixing any user-beneficial problem involving their work.


Is that still the case as of today? Even the subreddit itself seems convinced its no longer possible to create an Oculus account with a Quest 2 without linking a Facebook account.

https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/k81bg2/oculus_witho...


It still is the case. I was alarmed by how many people were insisting I'm wrong, so I factory reset mine and walked through the process with a new, non-FB Oculus account. Still works.


Quest 2? Thats good to know, I'll see if I can find the method you're talking about then.


They say they will eventually force everyone to Facebook. At least, that's what they said when I got mine back in January.


Nope, that's not what they were saying. They did say that they'd eventually cut out the store for people on legacy Oculus accounts, but your headset would still be perfectly usable; you'd still be able to load .apks in like you can now, you'd still be able to use it with a computer, and it would still more or less work just fine, as long as you weren't depending on Oculus functionality beforehand.

It'd be more like a Wii without Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It really won't be that different unless you're dependent on their online services.

However, eventually they'll be getting rid of the avenues to make a new account without a Facebook account like they've already slowly been doing. Which is a bad move, but while the avenues are available they might as well be taken.


Quest2 requires a Facebook account, only Quest1/Rift/S still work with an old Oculus account (at least until 2023 when that goes away as well and it's Facebook for everybody).


False. I literally factory reset and made a new Oculus account just to verify that the comments so harshly insisting that I was wrong were in fact wrong, and they are. You've gotta jump through a single hoop, but that hoop isn't making a Facebook account.


Oculus is owned by Facebook; an Oculus account is still a Facebook (Inc) account.


Technically FB says they won't require an FB account until 2023. However they make it a pain in the ass to use a Quest without a FB account, and presumably your device will be a paperweight in a year once the FB requirement rolls out


Quest2 requires a FB account today and for everybody, the 'until 2023' is only for old Oculus accounts used on old devices, i.e. Quest1 and Rift/RiftS.


Nope! Mine works perfectly fine with Oculus accounts made within the month; I literally just factory reset the thing and made another to verify that the comments saying otherwise were wrong, and yeah, they're wrong.


How do they store your purchases if you refuse to use facebook?


I use an Oculus account instead


Mark is ruining it for every upcoming nerd.

It's almost like he's working on being disliked?

Maybe it's his a way of get back at the world for being invisible on so many levels, until financial success?


Deep down he knows that all he did was create a cleaner version of MySpace at the perfect moment. He's used that lottery ticket to acquire companies built by people smarter than he is, and he'll keep trying to tie their genuine innovation back to FB to soothe his fragile ego.


I would have said so too before his investments in VR. Instead of Google's pie in the sky moonshot projects, he picked a tech that was just out of reach and focused an enormous percent of the company on bringing it into the present. He will be hailed as a Jobsian genius if he actually pulls off the next general computing platform, but even if not, certainly caught my attention.


Yeah and it's a shame, because Myspace was awesome and facebook sucks, it's a bloated mess with so much crap attached to it these days.


It’s almost like every device you buy these days have you create an online account to use it.


Even some hp printers recently


The "business" class Quest does not require the FB account. Same hardware, $800 IIRC.


Link?


Oof - $999, worse than I thought:

> Every Oculus Quest for business costs $999.

https://skarredghost.com/2020/05/22/oculus-business-vr-price...


But, if that article is correct, (“When you buy a headset like Oculus Quest, it is meant for consumer usage, and theoretically speaking, you can’t use for commercial purposes (exhibitions, training applications, VR cinemas, etc…). Yes, I know, we all use it for commercial purposes as well and for sure Oculus won’t enforce the licensing in the short term, but if you want to play exactly by the rules, you should buy a Business Quest for every enterprise application.”), you can use it commercially! That’s a steal!

What’s next? Ballpoints for business use, at double the price of ballpoints for personal use?


So that’s how much all the tracking and other data (biometrics? 3D model of your home?) is worth to them.


No, that's now much they think businesses or other professional consumers will pay.


Worth quite a bit to get metrics like heartbeat, what type of stuff you get physically excited about. No wonder they want to connect it to a real user account. Speaking of which, I'll create a fake FB account now and start nurturing it in the case I wanna buy an Oculus later.


On top of the high price, you don't get the Oculus Store either. I think you can theoretically sideload the consumer apps, but it won't be a straightforward process from what I understand.


why not just make a burner fb account for these things


Because they close your account for not being real and you lose your game library?


I've been using one for over a year, and I think I've pretty well silo'd it off from my personal stuff(other than using the same home internet connection).


It might work for you for now. The more people figure it out, the more likely it is that whatever vulnerability you are using will get patched out. Then you will get banned, because they hate you for doing what you are doing (not providing them with as much personal information as you can).


Oculus support did help me in that case and apparently disconnected the facebook account so i could still use my quest 2


It’s actually now pretty hard to create fake FB accounts. You will at least need a phone number, but often times they will also ask for ID scan if the detection mechanism will mark your account as fake.


None of this is true. I have bunch of fake FB accounts created for one reason or another. I haven't checked on all of them, but the one I use for Oculus works fine. It is literally two random names picked from generator and a picture of Kermit the frog.


I had a few, too. They're suspended now! I think they started looking at action history - little to no posts/likes/friend requests/logins will probably suspend your account and ask for an ID.

Now, Facebook can go fuck itself, but damn the Quest 2 looks nice. What a shame.


When were these created?

New account creation on numerous services (not just FB) has become increasingly limited. Even simple MS Windows registrations.


My cat's facebook account disliked this post.


Yeah, I never understood why people don’t treat Facebook just like email, where you can have a throwaway account unrelated to anything.


I needed a temporary Facebook account recently. I put a fake but plausible name and I did what I had to do. That account was blocked in no less than 20min, asking for my ID and my phone number.

I’m pretty sure that Facebook is unofficially « closed » for new « non verified » accounts.

And that’s not even surprising : literally everybody was on Facebook a decade ago, it’s definitely not the social network of the younger generation, and nobody who had the occasion to register 10 years ago is going to change its mind today. So the vast majority of new registrations must be spam bots.


New service: subscription identity - buy a real identity of a real person from some poor country and use it for yourself in the glorious developed world.

Official government issued ID, passport, photos, video verification available for a fee.


There are already marketing scams that involve renting out one's Facebook account so that third party entities can make posts with them:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook...

Come to think of it, that could be a way to get accounts with which to use Oculus with.


BrightID validates you as real and unique, but without revealing any actual IRL information to people consuming and using the identity via their apps.

https://www.brightid.org/


Does the uniqueness criterion prevent it from being useful to people who wanr to create multiple, independent accounts as is being discussed in this thread?


Also known as identity theft


If you don't steal someone's identity is it still identity theft? Ie they give use of their identity to you voluntarily for using these services.


If something is given with permission, it's not theft.


That's not what is happening in this scenario.


I wonder if they restrict Google Voice or other VoIP numbers.


They do. Just get a burner pay-as-you-go phone.


Every account on Facebook must be attached to a real person and every person is only allowed a single Facebook account. A throwaway account is an automatic TOS violation and can lead to an account ban. Facebook does actively enforce their TOS, so especially with new accounts it isn't uncommon for the account to get locked and Facebook will force you to verify your ID.

In the case of Quest2 that would mean you lose all the games you bought on the device along with the Facebook account.


But you are allowed to make a community or corporate account, no? Why not make an account like that and use that to link to your services. It would be within TOS, unless all these organizations and third party accounts polluting my feed are really all violating TOS.


I thought they weren't allowing that? Like, you had to appear to be a real person and can't just make and keep a blank profile?


It's a ToS violation, but you can still do it. Facebook will only ask for ID verification after they locked your account, but not while creating it. Locking of accounts is however pretty common.


Because people are ideologues, especially on HN.


Yes, they require accounts. A while ago, FB were saying the FB account must also be “in good standing” in response to people who had purchased the Quest 2, created the compulsory FB account, and were then banned immediately rendering the device totally useless.

There was a fair amount of bad press about the issue and how there was no way to get unbanned. The bad press forced their hand a bit, but I wonder if it’s an issue again now that it’s not such a hot topic.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/oculus-quest-2-users-banne...

https://screenrant.com/oculus-quest-worthless-facebook-accou...


Is it really that surprising that spending 25% of your life with 35% extra weight at the top of your head is going to affect your neck? I’m not convinced that a different strap is going to make a significant difference.


The weight matters a little, but people having been wearing helmets at work for millennia. The bigger problem is that the weight isn’t balanced - the front is heavier than the back.


How does a different strap shift the weight balance? Is there some magic?


Not sure why he got rid of the picture of it, but he actually put a computer inside his HHKB. I was waiting for him to do a write up.

https://palmerluckey.com/oculus-goblack-how-to-make-your-ocu...

You can see that on wayback machine.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190325121641/http://palmerluck...


Yeah! I double-checked that post while writing my comment and noticed the picture was gone, myself. I'm guessing it's because he was using the Facebook CDN.


What was it for? That sounds nuts (not a lot of room)


What was it for? So... he could have a computer inside of his keyboard.


For me the worst thing about the Quest 2 is the lack of adjustable eye-width options. The original Quest had an adjustable dial, but they replaced it with I think 2 or maybe 3 different widths to choose from. Because of this, my experience is way more uncomfortable than the first Quest, since none of the settings match my eyes.


It’s not well known, but the Quest 2 firmware does support intermediate IPD settings, so it’s straightforward to 3D print an adapter for the lenses:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4627924

https://www.reddit.com/r/OculusQuest/comments/jeie0q/your_ip...


Yeah, that's actually a problem that Palmer mentioned years ago with the Go. It hasn't gotten better since these things hit mass-market.


It sounds like you’re describing the Quest 2 as a full computing device. I thought it was pretty much a replacement for just a monitor in a traditional setup.


The quest two is basically an android phone with special hardware/software for VR. It’s running android. It can be used completely standalone.

It can be hooked up to a more powerful PC and essentially just used as a monitor, but it can also run less demanding titles natively with no additional hardware. It has a web browser built in and you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to it. So you can do some stuff without a laptop/pc. There’s a good library of native games but if you wanted to make a PowerPoint or do office/work you’d likely be using a web app (or just connecting to a pc)


You can also install (sideload) Termux for a decent standalone Linux experience - vim, git, python, ssh...


The Quest 2 has enough performance to run Citra (a recent Switch emulator) without any slowdowns; you can install just about any .apk on it, and if you want you can literally run Docker. It works pretty much okay for just about any actual computing task you can throw at it.


Small correction that I only realized a minute ago (past the edit window): Citra isn't a Switch emulator, if I recall correctly.


Recommendations for a strap? We have the Oculus Elite Strap and while better, isn't as comfortable as our Rift S "strap".


Hi! OP here - I use a GoQuestVR Halo strap. I'd originally purchased it for my Quest 1, and adapted it to fit the Quest 2. There are several makers of this form factor now, though.


I'll give that one a try since you and the article mention it, thanks!


Well... I'm the author of the article, so that still only counts as 1.


Ah, I thought "OP" as in the comment I was replying to! Good article by the way, I'll have to give it a try.


The Elite Strap has some really awful reliability issues; I'd definitely recommend returning it if you can.

If you've got a 3D printer, there's a pretty popular project that allows you to adapt the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap to a Quest 2; I've heard little but glowing praise for it.

However, since you mention the Rift S, as far as I'm aware the halo strap(s, there are a lot of different brands pushing pretty much the same thing) the author mentions in the page is pretty much just a clone of the Rift S strap, and I've also heard really good things about it. It's like $20 on AliExpress, so it's probably worth a try, at least.


Mine broke after a few months and not very heavy usage either. Very frustrating.


Your Elite Strap? Yeah, they're all pretty awful.


Quest 2 original strap + cheap strap pad significantly improves comfortability.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001657071604.html

Add a weight on the back is also good.


The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap is the way to go. You can 3d print or purchase the adapter off of Amazon. I also strapped a usb battery pack to the back of the headstrap to counterbalance the HMD. The DAS is very comfy and solves the audio problem with the quest 2 as well.


Do you have any suggestions for a better head strap for the Quest 2?


I talked a little about them in this comment:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28678568


There is a part of me that is disturbed. I like working at my big wooden table overlooking the city, nice natural light filtering in, the ability to detach from the screen and pace around to take a break. VR for work seems like a trap, you'll be consumed, ensnared by something that demands all your attention. You won't know freedom. Maybe this is the current state of headsets, clunky, like a chain with cables, bad tracking and screens. Maybe if it was seamless and I could slip it on as needed, like a pair of sunglasses.

The other part of me is that having a giant whiteboard and endless space seems cool. Imagine if the entire virtual space had powerful programming environments, some more powerful version of Mathematica, I could gesture and run a some powerful. Maybe that would be worth it, but it doesn't seem there yet.


> my big wooden table overlooking the city, nice natural light filtering in, the ability to detach from the screen and pace around to take a break

Nice flex, but not everyone has this kind of setup.


> my small plastic table, looking out on the blank concrete wall of the building next door, some fading indirect light filtering in, the ability to turn around and take a whole step back before bumping into my cabinet to take a break

Sounds more reasonable for Tokyo and I imagine, HK or Singapore.


Central Tokyo maybe. Tokyo is huge and on the outskirts you can get some nice places with a view. I personally just moved a bit outside of Tokyo to a house on a hill. Often working from the roof and enjoying the sunset.

Aside from that, this post is about to make me buy an Oculus.


Of course I was exaggerating for effect, but it’s certainly possible.


Japan is nowhere as bad as Hong Kong or Singapore space-wise. Hong Kong people have mastered the ability to self-traffic control in the one-person wide aisles of supermarkets, to give you some idea.


We should put our efforts toward making pleasant living and working spaces a reality for everyone, rather than funneling ourselves into non-reality.


A decent size table, natural lighting and room to pace is a flex?


For some of the jobs I've done over the years, definitely. Gosh I do not miss those.


You skipped "overlooking the city".


And his table went from big and wooden to "decent sized"


In post-communist countries in Europe millions of people live in soviet-style tall residential buildings (typically 7-20 stories high), a nice view of the city is not a luxury there (like I guess it is in the US?).


Completely depends on which city.


> There is a part of me that is disturbed. I like working at my big wooden table overlooking the city, nice natural light filtering in, the ability to detach from the screen and pace around to take a break. VR for work seems like a trap, you'll be consumed, ensnared by something that demands all your attention. You won't know freedom.

That's exactly the point, with VR someone in a small apartment they share with an extended family can ALSO have a nice big wooden table overlooking the city. Even if they are facing a beige wall ...


I am pretty sure he does not find a virtual light/view/desk equivalent to the real deal.


No where did I say they did. I'm saying that they have a very privileged, first world view of this issue.


Not sure what’s the privileged view here. VR is being pushed by wealthy businessmen from the first world, who probably have nice tables. Instead of using their resources and acumen to make sure the rest of us get nice tables too, they’re providing us with a virtual world of material luxury while they get to camp out in the real one.

https://www.wired.com/story/billionaires-use-vr-avoid-social...


Thanks, now it feel even more disturbed lol


I hear you, but there are layers to this. In a way, VR is like a hyper realistic lucid dream, and so actually gives a sort of freedom. VR is like a protective bubble of reality, you can substitute an unpleasant, ugly, and claustrophobic room for a big wooden table overlooking the city. Also there is something strangely anti-materialistic about VR. Why have all this big bulky, expensive equipment, furnishings, decorations around when all it takes is to slip on the glasses. It may be pseudo-dystopian, but I'm really interested in VR on planes so I can cross the continent while watching movies in my ski chalet.


> I'm really interested in VR on planes so I can cross the continent while watching movies in my ski chalet.

It works great, and I actually use my Quest 2 for this.

The only, er, slight issue is it detects rotation using gyros, so when the airplane turns it'll be immediately visible in a way it isn't when you're not using VR. It ironically makes you more aware of your surroundings.


> You won't know freedom

You can...take off the headset.


Until your workplace requires you to use it. And so does every other company you might move to.


How? afaik I can write my code on a piece of paper and run it through ocr - nobody would care... People cannot establish a common ide for a team, let alone establish a common obligatory vr headset.


Because you have a headset strapped to you providing metrics indicating you are not wearing it. Because your work is now tracking your eye movements and they know you aren't focused in the way that the latest ai produced productivity metrics associate with the 2-4% gain they want this quarter.


It does add separation from work and not-work. Take the headset off and you go from work to home without any commute.


Isn't this why everyone is burnt out from WFH? The desk is right there, you can sit down/strap in any time, and "leaving" work is mostly just a mental shift


When you get up from the table, and you still see the environment you work in, you never leave. But when you take off the VR headset, you can't see the environment you work in.


What? Since when does WFH burn everyone out? At least my perception is that people want to stick to it... I'm confused


It's difficult to tell apart the effects of WFH from the effects of pandemic lockdowns.

I know plenty of people who had a shitty time and ended up dealing with a lot of mental health issues.


My wife is in HR at a large international tech company. The number of people that want to work remote 100% of the time has been steadily dropping for the past year. People mostly want flex time now ... 2-3 days in the office max, no Fridays ... but the do want to come into the office.


I absolutely do not want to return to our office at least. I save so much time and money by working from home that it's insane to even think about going back. Not to mention that I have a much better ergonomic setup at home, and I can take short breaks whenever I want without getting weird looks. The ability to just lay down for a minute is a blessing. I also eat much healthier when I'm at home.

I'd be _fine_ with going to the office once every other week to just meet up, but not more than that.


Yeah, there are definitely people that want to be full remote. My team is full remote, a friend's team has settled on meeting once a week for retros/sprint planning and a mid sprint catch up.


It depends on how you design the VR office. I've found myself staring aimlessly into the distance in Microsoft's WMR Cliff House a number of times.


> Imagine if the entire virtual space had powerful programming environments, some more powerful version of Mathematica, I could gesture and run a some powerful.

Not sure.

But I think that there will be far fewer people who work relative to those who play in these virtual+immersive environments than there are with any of our more augmented ones.


Let's hope the AR hybrid will be possible soon :).

Sit down and your real room just widens virtually, your window remains and big screens pop up next to it.


This is a great breakdown of the early state of VR productivity. There are still a few key items that are barriers for me personally:

1. Eye and face tracking. The author mentions lip syncing and hand tracking. That goes a long way, but it doesn't recreate the video experience to me. There are a few vtubers out there that are doing some seriously impressive tracking, but it requires tons of special equipment at the moment. Once this gets resolved in a consumer model, I think things will really shine for virtual presence.

2. Lighter weight headsets. For longer sessions, a custom headstrap helps a ton, but even still lighter headsets will go a long ways to helping here.

3. Better lenses and better displays. The lower res means you're really forced to work at huge virtual screen sizes, as the author mentions. While this is the least needed item in this list for basic productivity, the screen door effect definitely creates a barrier some of the time.

I highly anticipate that we'll see a sizable portion of the population change over to VR for productivity within ten years. It has huge potential, especially with the remote work environment many are in these days. I would love to be able to feel the presence of people around me again, while still not having a commute or the risks associated with being physically in the same room.


Your last paragraph reminded me of Isaac Asimov's novel "The Naked Sun" and his fictional world of Solaria, where people have grown used to living far from each other and only "meet" in VR, and this has happened long enough that people feel repulsed by other people and feel sick if they believe they are in the actual presence of another person.


Well that one certainly came to pass, didn't it?

The pandemic is the best opportunity FB will ever have to push VR into the mainstream. Zuck has also been playing up that it could replace business travel post pandemic and there have been leaked specs for a Quest Pro that would deliver a very cutting edge productivity experience.


Years ago I had a dream that VR companies had released an airborne virus such that the only way for humans to experience outside was to wear VR tech.

I woke up thinking, "I need to invest in drone deliveries!"


There are actually a few decent choices for eye tracking now (a company that was just acquired by Bytedance had a pretty good eye-tracking standalone), and there are a few crazy headsets that do all of your listed requirements for 1. and more, but they're all in the $1,000+ range.

Lighter-weight headsets is something necessary but also something that is in sort of a weird spot. The Quest 2 is actually a lot heavier than average, because it's standalone. As cool as it is, it's regressive in some interesting ways.

For better displays, there's already some pretty impressive displays these days if you don't mind jumping up in price a few notches. Enthusiast-range, for sure, but still consumer models.


Which device would you overall recommend for all day productivity use?


Honestly, it depends on what your setup is. I would recommend taking a look at the recent Pimax headsets, the Quest 2, and the new Reverb G2 Omnicept, figuring out which features you can't live without (and which price tags you can), then picking one.


> The author mentions lip syncing and hand tracking. That goes a long way, but it doesn't recreate the video experience to me.

The oculus team put together a seriously jawdropping demo of facial tracking using a few cameras in a headset, combined with a lot of AI. The prototype was from a couple years ago. I can't wait until it makes it into commercial headsets. I wonder what the hold up is?

Well worth a look if you haven't seen it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3XcQtoja_Y


The latest firmware update for the Quest 2 (v33 [1]) brought "Link sharpening" which improves text clarity when connecting to your PC through Air Link (wirelessly) or Link (via USB). I tested before and after the update. Before the resolution wasn't quite there for coding etc., but I could definitely work with the post-update resolution.

As an aside, a handy cheap way to get more screens in VR with Oculus Link is to insert a headless HDMI plug into your video card. This also works for creating new screens in VR using Immersed although they claim that the virtual screens (paid feature) work better.

[1]: https://support.oculus.com/release-notes/


> change over to VR for productivity within ten years

Curious, but why not AR for productivity rather than VR? Both could work, and AR is less invasive.


AR has a lot further to go on a fundamental technology level to reach "usable without uncomfortably dim surroundings". VR already works.

E.g. the very best AR stuff you can buy right now is still moderately-bright glowing pixels on top of whatever you're currently looking towards. So if you have too much contrast in the background, or actual light sources, they show right through and ruin much of the visual clarity.

As much as I like AR as a concept, it's much further from "ready". It has all the complexities of VR, plus real-world tracking, plus visual overlay - it'll necessarily trail VR until those latter two are "good enough", and they certainly are not at the moment.


Why don't AR headsets use variable tint sunglass lenses to dim the incoming light?


There have been some tech demos along these lines - basically an LCD filter layer that turns black where the pixels are lighting up.

Last I saw, that opaque layer's pixel density was far too coarse (so it blocked too much or too little - it needs like >10x higher density than the highest density consumer screens out now), and every tech I've seen has had a fundamental issue with focus - we can project AR pixels at comfortable focus ranges with complex enough techniques, but nothing exists to project "darkness", so it's at an entirely different visual and focal distance as the pixels, and it never looks quite right.

On top of that, you can't really use it to make semi-opaque pixels - you can only darken, and draw brighter stuff on top. So even if you solve ^ all that, you still have to accurately track the world, figure out what's being occluded, and re-draw that along with the pixel you want to draw. Without blocking vision, so the cameras to do all this can't see exactly the same thing you see.

... so every AR headset just adds a pair of literal sunglasses behind it all to dim the world so things don't look quite as bad, and that's the best we have now.

In VR with a couple cameras, you... just draw a semi-opaque pixel on top. And it looks perfect.


if they had some form of e-ink like backing it could block the light on the external side and the. render the emitting light on the eyes side


How do you block light away from the focal plane? There's been research headsets with incredibly long and convoluted indirect light paths so that an attenuation layer could be inserted at a separate focal plane. There's also out of focus attenuation layers which can be surprisingly effective. Neither seems sufficient for a consumer headset.


VR with pass-through might still win this because it's more practical for work scenarios. Arguably this is still AR, but subtly different than HMDs with transparent displays.


I would argue that the future of AR is VR with passthrough. AR fundamentally has issues with light passing through the display screen. VR passthrough is solvable with current tech. AR that solves the problem of not being able to selectively block out light is a breakthrough or two away.


> risks associated with being physically in the same room

What risks are you anticipating in ten years time?


I'd be very afraid to fry my eyes. I can't imagine strapping a bright display at 10cm from your eyes, for hours on end, won't lead to eye issues later on in life. I already feel strained after using a headset for an hour.


I feel like people had the same worries when television, computers and video games invaded homes everywhere in decades past. I'm thinking the problems (if any) won't be as bad as you think they will be.

And to your last point I think that's where common sense comes in. If something is painful, if it causes you discomfort, stop. You're body is decently good at protecting you from things that are harmful to it (except sugary sweets for me...)


The amount of people being prescribed glasses is growing each year due to phone and computer use.

I have poorer vision in low light conditions then when I was younger. My optometrist has confirmed my sensitive eyes and advised to wear blue light filters but I choose not to. I have friends who need glasses to drive legally at night for similar reasons.

Don't give people the wrong impression without first asking professional advice as you could do harm by misleading someone.


While it is true that incidences of myopia are increasing, we don't quite have the evidence to assert that it is due to phone and computer use. Indeed, many studies suggest that the reason might actually be a lack of bright light (i.e. sunlight) and that deliberate exposure to bright light may actually be a good intervention to prevent myopia (see e.g. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal..., https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-26635-7, https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2355431)


Relevant YouTube video about this from SciShow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwQzTKHIkb4


bright white light or led screens ? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


From what I remember when I last looked into it: We underestimate how bright sunlight is. Screens just aren't bright enough. They only appear to be bright to us because they are one of the few light sources in indoor environments.


>Don't give people the wrong impression without first asking professional advice as you could do harm by misleading someone.

The irony of posting this after a statement that is patently not supported by any evidence, and is generally thought to be wrong:

>due to phone and computer use.


Word, that sort of claim begs for an associated reference to a study.


> The amount of people being prescribed glasses is growing each year due to phone and computer use.

I have some hope the use of VR gear might start to reverse that trend. The focal plane is normally set a couple meters away from you -- I think six meters for the Quest. Anecdotally, I find it comfortable to look into; it has a 'night' mode that reddens the light, too.

I don't know how provable it is, but I've always heard that nearsightedness may be caused by looking at things that are too close, too often.

Right now there's a concern in that the focal plane is always six meters, but light-field displays will be coming at some point, probably before these become a mass-market product.


I think it's a little bit more then the worries we see with TV's since children under a certain age are not allowed to use it.

But yeah I couldn't imagine using it for a workday. I bought an Oculus Go once, my eyes couldn't handle it for more then 5 tot 10 minutes.

But I guess everyone is different, can imagine for some people like me it's not healthy


The Oculus Go has a resolution of 12.67 pixels per degree. The Quest 2 has a resolution of 15.5 (vertical) to 20 (horizontal) pixels per degree, and a massively reduced screen-door effect.

Anecdotally (i.e. for me), that makes it far less straining to look into. although I'd really want twice that.


You can't really feel pain in your retina though.


Well specifically to the brightness, how much light is going into your eyes when using a VR set relative to, say, a TV? Or a 27-inch monitor close to your face?


Or the sun/daylight while being outside? I'd guess that's some orders of magnitude more.


Ironically you need to be exposed to the strong light outside (as a child), otherwise you will need glasses.


Yep, I really regret spensing so much time of my youth indoors in front of a monitor... At age 19 I can experience the loss in sight quality already. It is recommended to spend AT LEAST 2 hours everyday outside in daylight to prevent myopia. I did not follow that recommendation and regret it sorely.


The evidence around this appears to be most strong for actually having a long focal distance as being one of the most important factors (as opposed to the lux) - unless the evidence has significantly changed.

I mean there’s probably a pretty strong correlation between being outside and having a long focal distance, but my understanding was that when attempting to control for this (ie rise of increase in apartment living, first in Japan and then other Asian cities) its tightly correlated to not focusing on things a long way away


Yep, that's correct. If you're spending many hours a day in front of a phone or monitor for months or years you'll have accumulated a lot of very short focal length time, so to say.


I’d imagine most discomfort is eye strain rather than brightness. The way VR headsets work right now it’s important to have your eye correctly positioned and the headset adjusted for your own distance between pupils.


While it is physically 10cm from your eyes, there are collimating lenses, resulting in a picture that is apparently much further away from you, I think 1.3m is a typical distance, but it can vary by headset. It is much further away than a typical monitor. As for the light itself, it is light, no UV, not overly bright, sunlight is orders of magnitude brighter (which is a problem for AR btw). The image is also in front of you so no weird eye movement. I don't really see how it can damage your eyes though maybe some people know better, maybe the low resolution/screendoor effect can be a problem on current-gen headsets.

There are things that can cause strain. For example, items too close to you can be out of focus, the low FOV makes you move your head a lot more, and it has extra weight strapped to it, there is the heat, the motion, etc... But a well designed desktop setting like in the article avoids many of these problems.


One nice thing is that (next to being able to dim the screen as there is no background), the eyes actually focus on infinity with the lenses in a VR headset. This is the eye's natural state (staring in the distance, relaxed circular muscles around the lenses, which then flatten), and should be much better in the long term that staring at a screen 50 cm away from you.


Generation 1 headsets were focused at infinity, these days they're focused around 2 meters[1].

[1] https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/status/1130973138362294272


Ah, thanx for the the clarification! Would be neat if it could be set at a therapeutically optimum setting or something. Or perhaps vary? Or that would be weird I guess. Best thing would be if certain elements require close focus, while others require one to focus on infinity. In a ratio that mimics natural use. But I guess that is a lot more difficult to implement.

Btw, too little light is also not good for the eye, outside, in the sun it can easily be 100x brighter than your screen and your eye needs that every now and then to remain in good shape.


I am unsure wether you are aware that the screen is only physically 5cm away. But our eyes have to focus (Focal Distance) on a distance of 2m (oculus quest 2) or infinity (vive) (afaik, i'd love to get more detailed informations on what glasses have what focal distance). This is archived by the fresnel lenses used in the vr glasses.

So it's not the problem focussing something in 5cm distance. The big issue is that your eyes never have to adapt the distance they are looking at. Watching a screen all day 50cm from your eyes is equally bad. You could say that focussing a distance 2m or infinity is better, but i am no eye-scientist.


People keep bringing up vision problems, but I think my biggest concern would be circadian rhythm. How does my brain know when to release sleepy chemicals when I shut off the daylight for 10 hours at a time? All that artificial light would really mess up my sleep patterns. Although, with the winters we have here, it wouldn't make a difference during the twilight months.


I imagine that's something that could be compensated for within the virtual environment -- similarly to the way apps like f.lux change the average colour temperature of a screen depending on time of day.


I've had problems with eye pain for years due to, what I thought, was computer use.

After a lot of trial and error and just thinking about what could possibly be causing this, I believe I have found that I wasn't getting enough sleep. I haven't had eye pain in months and I have been using my computer even more frequently than before (because my eyes don't hurt).

I have learned that I need at least 8 hours of sleep, but try for 8 1/2 - 9 hours. If I go a couple of days getting 5-6 hours of sleep, my eyes start killing me again.

Might be worth looking into your sleeping habits.


There’s no headset display on earth that will be brighter than the outside world on a sunny day, and we’ve evolved to handle that for 8+ hours a day indefinitely.


Likewise. I worked from a laptop for the last decade. Got a new job and switched to a large monitor that I sat pretty close to. 6 months later I needed glasses after having perfect vision for 30 years. It could be coincidence but I feel the screen caused the vision deterioration. Having a screen strapped to my head sounds like it would be a more extreme version of the large monitor.


Using my phone is frying my eyes today. I am getting lots of eyestrain and blur from too much phone time. Once I got a Quest 2, I substituted enough screen time that my eye strain issues went away. Not saying there will be no long term effects, just that today in the here and now, my eyes feel better using VR for an hour or 2 a day.


I’m sure that I would fry my eyes. When I was working with 6 screens for one year and half I couldn’t focus anymore far away, everything was blurry. After years that I didn’t use that setup now my eyesight is normal again. I can’t imagine what would do to my eyes to focus on a screen mere centimetres from my eyes.


Indirect sun light on average sunny day is many times more energetic rhan anything screens put out.


Is the output of the sun somehow equal to the output of LED lights? One could imagine there are slight differences in how they react with the eye, so they probably bring different issues by being received by your eyes for long durations.

Not to mention humans have evolved with sunlight in mind and LED lights are relatively new. Our eyes most likely are more used to sunlight than LED lights.


I would feel the same.

I'm not ophthalmologist but I do wear glasses for myopia. My concern would be emitted light, distance and emitted heat...

Screens are emitted light. Having a screen strapped to your head emitting light into your eyes is very different to having a monitor in a room (adjusted to ambient light) emitting light and in an environment with a lot of natural reflected light.

Distance, yes there are lenses that bend the emitted light and change the perception of distance to the screen but it's still only a short distance from your face emitting light and heat.

You might be fine for a few years but I would be willing to bet you will have some form of eye issue in later life.


Isn't everything picked up by your eyes emitted light?


No.

Think of it like a cinema projection vs TV screen.

In a cinema a projector sends light onto a screen that bounces off and towards your eyes, this is a reflected light.

If you were to watch a TV of the same size it would be emitting light from LED's shining light directly to you.

There are some comments on an older thread with some good info: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17993615


Direct or reflected light is just light. Same stuff.

What matters is the content and quality of the light spectrum.

LED lights or even LCD screens can be designed with a more or less healthy spectrum depending on the priorities of the manufacturer. But this is an economical problem that can be regulated.


As many people pointed out, the focal point is at a much higher distance than the typical screen.

If anything, this could be much healthier.

If only the head mounted displays were designed with health in mind rather than making a quick profit...


Having a screen blast your eyes 2” away is only ok for so long. Perhaps some can handle this but I cannot possibly imagine this is good for most people at scale. There’s already concern about eye problems due to cell phones in youth, and that’s at least 6-10” away from one’s eyes and with other light coming in.

The resolution isn’t there yet compared to my 4-5k monitors for text, but clearly will get there in the future. For now I don’t see what advantages it really gives me compared to a normal monitor in the real world, especially if I’m just coding. The exception would be if I were on something like an airplane — being able to look forward is a big deal here.

Personally it makes me feel a bit nauseous, particularly if there’s any movement (I get motion sick easily in VR but not normally in real life). My understanding is that about 20% of the population is like this and nothing is known to prevent it.

There are cool things about VR that I really enjoy (particular things like Google street view) but I think it’s way over hyped, and possibly dystopian depending on what people are leaving behind.


The physical distance from the glass to your eyeball is irrelevant.

What is relevant is the distance to the focal plane.

For typical screens, the focal distance and the screen distance are obviously identical.

For VR systems, they're very different. The last one I tried had a focal plane that was about 4 meters away. This makes it better than typical screens!

However, the low resolution is an issue. I've found that I get sore eyes if I use a low-resolutions screen. This is because my eyes try to focus, fail, and keep "hunting" by changing focus back and forth looking for the point of sharp focus -- but it's never there. This is why all of my displays are 4K.

For VR because of the large field of view, the required resolution is at least 8K per eye or equivalent. Ideally a "fake" 16K using foveated rendering.


Focal distance is only part of the issue another is is consistency. Using a headset for 8 hours means your eyes are constantly focusing within a very narrow range of distances for 8 hours which isn’t good. Your brain might be somewhat fooled when looking at a wall vs a VR window, but your eyes don’t change focal distance.

Similarly VR has a narrow range of possible brightness, this is less of an issue but can also cause problems long term.


Hi! OP here. It absolutely can cause issues, and the same occupational hygiene and ergonomics apply in VR as they do for sitting at a desk.

So while I spend 8-10 hours a day in VR, I don't do it all at once - I do take breaks, which means walking the dog 3 times a day right now, in addition to bio breaks or just stretching my legs a bit.


Why not just walk the dog in VR?

Pardon and I believe that I am futurist .. forward thinker like AR Glasses apps I want to make...

- Keep track of real life ping pong game score via AI & show each awarded point in glasses view (can do similar for fencing, card games, etc)

- AR location history (show me how this building looked decades ago)

- AR turn day into night & vice versa

- AR zoom in ... Apple just added their Magnifer app .. put that in AR/smart glasses

AR/smart glasses (really should call them that "smart," it makes more sense to regular consumer) will be revolutionary for sure as it enhances and innovates something millions and millions already do wear glasses. People will pick them up by the millions to billions and possibly because some of the app ideas I listed above.

VR has been around for 30 years .... why would millions to billions want to strap on a headset to talk to memojis of their co-workers for hours each day. It's isolating vs. AR ... AR glasses will enhance social behaviors ... VR i never see becoming anything like the iPhone. AR glasse are no doubt the next iPhone especially where developers create revolutionary apps for them.


I'd be interested in hearing the perspective of a forward thinker such as yourself on the Google Glass.


Google glass was the very first of such a headset and not a good experience. It's probably still a little early for smart/AR glasses but they make a ton more sense to be the next big thing vs. VR. VR requires everyday people to do something unusual ... something they havent done before .. that is isolating ... that is uncomfortable for long periods of time ... maybe it will make sense for videogames but not working 8 hours a day with a headset strapped to your face (lol).

Ask those outside of your VR circle ... are they excited to use VR ... strap a headset on their face and work in a virtual world with their co-workers' memojis for 8 hours or would they prefer to wear their sunglasses or prescription glasses that are smart & enhance the world around them like never before. If my AR ideas are not good ...not ground breaking ideas that get millions to billions of regular people buying them im sure other developers ideas will be even better and prompt billions to adapt and buy them. But i am excited to be able to play real life games like ping pong (card games) and have my glasses keep/show me the score in my glasses view. I guess that is a stupid completely void of innovation type idea..... not changing how we do everyday things

Maybe out of all this work in VR things will be learned and used to create smart prescription or sunglasses.


Yeah, but again, that's an issue that is shared with physical computer screens as well.

It's obviously easier to look up from a physical screen and look around to change up your focal distance, but frankly, this is something that people already forget to do -- and it's just as easy to do in VR if you've got something in the far distance to look at.


Looking at something “far away” in VR doesn’t change your eyes physical focal distance. You need to physically remove the headset to rest your eyes.


Huh, okay, after some very cursory googling it looks like you're right. I was misunderstanding how VR focal distance worked.

Then your point definitely stands: taking off a headset in order to mix up your focal distance does sound like a pain.


There are lightfield displays that can synthesise arbitrary focal planes, but they're still experimental afaik.


There are consistent rumors they'll appear in the Quest 3.

I rather doubt it, but if we're lucky it's something they're working on. A generation or two after, maybe?


Isn't the focal distance to your monitor also static? Well mostly static, since you do move around a bit.


every time your eyes look outside your monitor (even for a fraction of a second), they get a little rest. EG.:Looking a your coffee mug before you grab it, looking at the window, adjusting your keyboard, looking at your colleagues, your 2nd/3rd monitor that's a bit further, moving back and forth on your chair, etc. You never spend 100% of your time starring at the center of your monitor.

On a VR headset, your eyes will always focus at the exact same distance until you remove the headset.


It's not just the resolution. Lenses get dirty, and you get other optical artifacts (god rays, chromatic aberration, screendoor effect) that mess with the quality of the picture and create eye strain.


> Personally it makes me feel a bit nauseous, particularly if there’s any movement (I get motion sick easily in VR but not normally in real life). My understanding is that about 20% of the population is like this and nothing is known to prevent it.

This is almost always one of two things:

* A low or unsteady framerate or tracking

* Lack of spending twenty minutes in it to teach your body to cope with the aforementioned low or unsteady framerate or tracking

The Quest 2 won't drop below 90hz if in any productivity app, and you can even turn it up to 120hz (it can handle games at 120hz; a productivity app won't put any stress on the hardware), so there isn't really the opportunity for nausea.

It really does sound like you've only used Cardboard or Daydream, since the only thing you're listing is Street View. There's nothing wrong with Cardboard and Daydream, but they're 3DoF and you were lucky if it would hit 60hz consistently. They're a box for nausea. Even the original Vive (still an admirable headset, although pretty rough these days) is significantly below the state of the art enough that judgements about VR as a whole can't justifiably be made.


I have a quest 2, and have put it at 120hz. I still get motion sick. It’s not just frame rate. Movement in real life involves more inputs than just eyes.. you feel it in your vestibular system for example. Here we have a disconnect between motion in the eyes and the rest of your body. And for many, such as myself, that results in motion sickness.


Do I understand correct that you don't get motion sickness if standing still but looking around—when there is no disconnect in motion? This is the use case for productivity apps.

In my understanding it is extremely rare to experience VR motion sickness if the motion in VR matches the motion in IRL.


That is usually the case. But what have I really gained? Unless what I’m doing is inherently 3D, I’m getting a lower resolution 2D experience blocking out my actual world (including things like my water glass, keyboard, mouse, dog, papers on desk, etc) while getting my eyes blasted with artificial light with a heavy thing strapped to my head.


VR gear has improved dramatically, but there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable. https://web.archive.org/web/20190813004505/http://elevr.com:... I think the most important piece of advice is to take a break right away when you're feeling bad instead of trying to push through.


The focus issue is not that things are too close (as jiggawatts covers) but that the focal plane never changes. You might want to specifically do some eye exercises by focusing on objects at different distances outside of VR.


> Having a screen blast your eyes 2” away is only ok for so long.

Distance isn't really a factor here, at least not as far as total light entering your eyes goes - a 1W/m^2 source 10cm from your eyes causes the same amount of light to enter as a 16W/m^2 source 40cm away.

What matters, as others have pointed out, is the distance between your eyes and the focal plane.


Seems like you'd have to be able to touch type to do this


"Realism will increase (perhaps to hyperrealism) and our ability to perceive and interact with simulated objects and settings will be indistinguishable to our senses."

Hard pass from me.

Gaming addiction was only officially recognized within roughly the past decade. The idea of developing some sort of dependance on virtual reality fills me with absolute dread. Whats worse is that companies promoting virtual offices like this have every incentive imaginable to promote this (hi Facebook!).

I don't have anything against VR and think it has a lot of potential as a medium for gaming and the arts but theres a lot of danger in assuming there is no risk or minimizing the risks. Ignore the addictive power of the things which tune out the inconveniences of life at your own peril.


As someone who has spent quite some time tuning their VR setup for iRacing, I highly recommend the Pimax headsets (Pimax 8K X has dual native 4K). Best resolution and FOV, decently priced, light software, and surprisingly great support.

I 3d printed some supports to mount a vive headstrap to it, and removed the vive headphones in favor of Airpods. 200 degrees of FOV @ 75hz would be incredible for work with a far superior viewport than OP.

This blog post makes me want to give this a try.


Thank you for bringing up FOV. It frustrates me to no end that in nearly 5 years of VR advances, we're still stuck with a ~90 degree periscope angle of view for the vast majority of headsets.


Most headsets have > 90° FOV: https://arvrtips.com/vr-headset-comparison-tool/


Sigh. If you had read my comment you'd have seen the tilde, which indicates "approximate". I've used the vive with 110' , that is not a significant difference, particularly when you consider that the human eye has an fov of ~200 (notice the tilde)

Only 7 of the 21 VR listed in that page exceed 115 degrees. And four of those are PIMAX systems.


I consider a 22% improvement (110° instead of 90°) a significant improvement.


Just a caveat — the article is very Facebook-centric. All the software they mention seems to be Oculus-specific within that closed ecosystem. No mention of non-Oculus options.


What do you mean by light software? Are they not just dumb displays?


There's no real avenue for a "dumb display" to work as a 6DoF headset, and even back in the DK1, 3DoF days you'd still end up needing some software (mainly drivers) for things like the gyroscope.


If I remember correctly, weren't the early ones at least more akin to this? I have a DK2 sitting in a box somewhere. Ordered it to mess around with and it was cheap enough that I could risk not getting a ton of use out of it.

I seem to remember that it was mostly done on the computer: IR emitters on the headset for tracking with a sensor/camera to receive the positional data to be processed by the computer. Then the generated output of the "camera" was sent to the display sitting behind the lenses.

There was definitely processing going on and you did need drivers/software. I'd imagine you could still use it with not much more than some lightweight drivers/software to process the positional data and render the appropriately distorted output.


Things were a lot lighter.


You don't need the layers of bloatware on top of the sensors. Kinect for example just exposed and HID and library.


I mean literally that the PiTool running in the background takes like 10mb of memory. I've seen a lot of reports from friends and online in the sim community that their beastly systems can barely pull 90fps steady in the G2/Oculus headsets, meanwhile I'm at almost double the FOV at 120hz steady, maxed, on a worse system.

We've tried everything we could to get their headsets to run smoothly. There are multiple guides in the iRacing forums about combing through every line in all relevant .ini files, setting up windows, nVidia settings, etc.


I haven't used one of those, but I can guess what he means based on owning an Oculus Rift 2. Let's say I want to start playing a Steam game with my headset. To do so, I must install the Oculus software, sign in with my Facebook account (it's a brick with a headstrap without an account), then find the setting that enables "non-Oculus software" to operate the Rift display. Using the Rift always starts the Oculus software. There are shortcuts on the headset that throw you into Oculus's own environment for buying and launching games.


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